- Project Runeberg -  Through the Caucasus to the Volga /
17

(1931) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Gerald C. Wheeler - Tema: Russia
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TIFLIS
B 17
The world is not so very big : in this foreign town
I was surprised to meet Mrs. Petrov, the daughter of
my friend Wurzel, formerly director of works for
the Imperial Russian railways; it was with him
that I travelled through Siberia and the Amur
district in 1913. She has lived many years in Tiflis
with her husband, whose work is in insurance,
especially for agriculture. I spent a delightful
evening with them and their young and lovely
daughter in their peaceful home. They had come
fairly well through those anxious times, without
håving to undergo such sufferings as many others
had to. They had been allowed to keep their
furniture and four rooms, so comparatively they
were not crowded. But otherwise the lack of housing
was severely felt in Tiflis as in most of the greater
towns of the Soviet Union, and many families had
to put up with one room only. Mr. Petrov had
travelled widely on account of his work both in
Georgia and in Armenia, and had a good knowledge
of the state of things in the various districts. Things
had gone badly, too, with agriculture in those hard
years during the war with the Turks and after,
especially in Armenia, where the people had been
put to the sword, the land had been laid waste and
plundered, and the harvest destroyed time after
time by the Turkish hordes; while there had also
been the many thousands of harassed Armenian
refugees pouring in an unbroken flood over the
borders from Turkish Armenia. In the winter of
1921-2 men died in thousands from hunger; the
bodies of the dead lay strewn in the streets of

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